$4880 raised for Woolooga fire victims, more help needed
DONATIONS for the State Government-based initiative to help restoration efforts for lingering victims of last month's devastating Woolooga bushfires are on the rise - but in need of a boost.
As residents and farmers across the Gympie region attempt to recover from a second significant weather event in the form of last week's tornado-like thunderstorms, the Queensland Government has nominated national not-for-profit organisation GIVIT as the central donation point for all Woolooga fire-related damages.
To date, GIVIT has raised $4880 toward locally purchased feed for stock and animals, fencing and farming equipment after more than 10,000 hectares owned by around 100 landholders was impacted in Woolooga, Sexton and Miva between September 19 and 22.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokesman confirmed an approximately 80 houses had been either directly saved or impacted but not burned in the fire.
St Vincent De Paul St Patrick's conference vice president Mary Condon said their volunteers had served as a "local contact point" to assist GIVIT operations.
"We're just a small bit player in the operation, we play a role in interviewing people to record what they lost in the fires and pass it on to GIVIT," Mrs Condon said.
"We would absolutely recommend people to give to GIVIT, all money raised is given to those who really need it.
"GIVIT is a safe and credible initiative and we are working with them and council as the entry point for (fire victims) to access funds, there are three layers to this."
A spokeswoman said Gympie Regional Council recovery teams had worked directly with the affected communities in the direct aftermath of the fires.
She said the council had provided a number of services including assisting in drinking and tank water delivery and feed for livestock.
"Grazing land has been destroyed with associated infrastructure such as irrigation systems either destroyed or badly damaged," the spokeswoman said.
"(Donations) through the GIVIT website will allow urgent items to be purchased locally to support bushfire recovery.
"100 per cent of funds received by GIVIT will purchase items identified by local services."
Council thanked all donors to the appeal including Coles customers, who donated $3,815 to GIVIT, while Rotary put $12,000 toward BlazeAid, another volunteer-based organisation working with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters.
Val Forgeard, who helped coordinate the initial BlazeAid efforts, said the team had spent two and a half weeks establishing fencing repairs at affected properties since September 8.
Donate to the Woolooga Fire victims through GIVIT at http://www.givit.org.au.